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Jimi Hendrix, the iconic guitar virtuoso, left an indelible mark on the world of music with his revolutionary playing style and a penchant for guitars that were as unique as his sound. When we think of Hendrix, the first associations regarding guitars often gravitate towards the Fender Stratocaster, notably the white Fender Stratocaster used at Woodstock or the Fender CS showcased at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. However, Jimi Hendrix had hundreds of guitars throughout his active years.

Let’s Explore 10 Guitars Played by Jimi Hendrix!

 

1. Gibson 1955 Les Paul Custom Exclusive Electric Guitar

 

In the vast world of the guitar hero Jimi Hendrix, he briefly welcomed this iconic guitar, the Gibson 1955 Les Paul Custom, into his repertoire in 1968. Notably, during a rehearsal of ‘Foxy Lady’ for the Miami Pop Festival. Hendrix, exploring it as a potential substitute for the Flying V, later reverted to his favored Flying V and embraced the SG Custom. The Gibson 1955 Les Paul Custom found a new home with Jimi Hendrix’s old friend, Larry Lee, and currently resides at the EMP Museum in Seattle.

 

2. Fender Mustang

 

A Fender Mustang in Daytona Red played a pivotal role in Jimi Hendrix’s discography. This guitar witnessed the creation of timeless tracks on albums like “Axis: Bold as Love” and “Electric Ladyland” at Olympic Studio, London. As part of the L series, it’s among the last Fenders made before the CBS acquisition, adding to its historical significance.

 

3. Fender Jazzmaster

 

In the early years of Jimi Hendrix’s musical journey, the Fender Jazzmaster played a crucial role as his mainstay in Little Richard’s backing band. While Jimi Hendrix is widely celebrated for his solo career with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys, the roots of his distinctive sound can be traced back to his time with Little Richard.

The versatile nature of the Fender Jazzmaster became evident as it accompanied Jimi Hendrix through various musical endeavors. Transitioning from the chitlin circuit years, where Hendrix honed his craft in the vibrant and challenging environment of African-American clubs, Jimi Hendrix’s connection with the Jazzmaster deepened.

One notable performance that stands out in the Jazzmaster’s history with Hendrix is at Symphony Hall in Newark, New Jersey. This venue witnessed a pivotal moment in Jimi Hendrix’s career as he showcased the adaptability of the Jazzmaster, moving from the role of a backing guitarist to the forefront of the musical stage.

During this period, Hendrix’s unique playing style, marked by intricate flourishes and unconventional techniques, began to emerge. It’s interesting to note that he was already experimenting with his left-handed playing, a distinctive trait that would later become synonymous with the legendary guitarist. The Jazzmaster, with its distinct tonal qualities, provided the canvas for Hendrix to paint his sonic masterpieces.

 

4. Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 Gibson SG Custom

 

In 1969, a striking white Gibson SG Custom stole the spotlight during Jimi Hendrix’s appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. This visually captivating guitar symbolizes Jimi Hendrix’s eclectic taste in instruments.

This event occurred shortly after his iconic performance at Woodstock. During this show, Jimi Hendrix played the Gibson SG Custom, alternating with his famous white Fender Stratocaster, “Izabella,” from Woodstock.

The Dick Cavett Show marked Jimi Hendrix’s US network television debut, and this special features live performances of “Izabella,” “Machine Gun,” and “Hear My Train A Comin’.

 

5. Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s Zemaitis 12-string Acoustic

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Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s Zemaitis 12-string Acoustic is showcased in a rare video gem. The american guitarist delivered a soul-stirring rendition of “Hear My Train A’ Comin'” during the filming of “See My Music Talking” in London, 1967. The magic lies in Hendrix’s 12-string guitar, a creation by the esteemed luthier Antanus Casimere (Tony) Zemaitis. This instrument not only played a pivotal role in Hendrix’s musical odyssey but also left an indelible mark on Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.

 

6. Fender Jaguar

 

Fun fact: According to Tappy Wright, Jimi’s trusted roadie, this Fender Jaguar was courtesy of none other than Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. The pivotal exchange occurred just before Hendrix’s iconic performance at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 8, 1967.

However, the tale takes an interesting turn as Jimi initially couldn’t unleash the full potential of this gifted instrument. The reason? The guitar was originally strung up for a right-handed player. Tappy took on the task of re-stringing the Jaguar to suit Jimi’s left-handed style upon their return to London.

 

7. Joe Maphis Model Double-Neck 6/12 String Guitars

 

Jimi Hendrix owned a Joe Maphis Model Double-Neck 6/12 String Guitars, and it played a pivotal role in the recording of “Spanish Castle Magic” for the second LP of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Axis: Bold as Love.” The original color of this guitar was white, but over time, it has gracefully transitioned, fading into a creamy hue.

 

8. Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite Guitar

 

While the historical record may not definitively confirm Jimi Hendrix’s stint with the Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite Guitar, we’ve decided to include it in our list because, well, we love to think that he did!

Around the same time, Keith Richards found himself in possession of this revolutionary guitar. It is believed that Richards received the Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite Guitar from Ampeg, likely sometime in late 1969. The first public appearance of Richards wielding this distinctive instrument was on the Ed Sullivan Show, during the filming of the show in November of that year.

 

9. Black Widow

 

Jimi Hendrix’s Stolen Black Widow guitar is quite a piece of musical history. Toward the end of his life, he passed it on to the Ghetto Fighters. They were backup singers on “The Cry of Love” album released posthumously. Hendrix even played it on the unreleased track “Mojo Man.” The fact that it’s reportedly worth nearly $1 million adds an extra layer of intrigue

 

10. 1965 Gretsch Corvette Electric Guitar

 

In July 17, 1967, Jimi Hendrix, having decided to quit as the opening act for the Monkees on their U.S. tour, joined Curtis Knight for a jam session at Ed Chalpin’s PPX Studios. This gathering had a crucial underlying factor: Jimi was in the midst of a lawsuit filed against him by Chalpin at that very time.

The jam session, happening “off the record,” took place amidst this legal controversy. It can be seen as a strategic move on Hendrix’s part — a way to continue making music and expressing himself creatively while navigating the challenges of the ongoing lawsuit.

Now, when we consider a photo of Hendrix with a Gretsch Corvette, and the presence of Curtis Knight, it suggests that the guitar in the photo might have been used during their 1967 jam session. This visual cue provides a tangible connection to the historical context of their music-making, offering a glimpse into the creative process during a challenging yet transformative period in Hendrix’s career.

 

Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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